Live Music Now works with hospitals and healthcare settings to offer interactive live music sessions led by trained, talented professional musicians.
With many years’ experience of delivering work in both public and clinical settings, our musicians work on wards and in public spaces, as well as in long-term residencies and projects aimed at improving specific health outcomes.
Having events like this makes us feel valued as staff members. I also noticed patients with their families who joined in today; the music brings peace and serenity in the moment.
Hospital Staff Member, The Royal Marsden Hospital Sutton
There is a growing body of evidence that live music offers real benefits to health and wellbeing. Our own feedback and evaluation shows outcomes in a range of areas including:
- Increased happiness and enjoyment, improving patient, visitor and staff wellbeing;
- Physical and clinical benefits including pain management, cognitive functioning, independent functioning, and mobility
- Improving patients’ engagement with other therapies and with self-care; and
- Personal and cultural development through interacting meaningfully with lively, stimulating professional performers.
What we do
Ward and Public Concerts
Live Music Now musicians, specialising in a wide variety of genres, connect with audiences through interactive performances, tailored to fit the care setting and the involved individuals’ needs.
Participants are involved in the music-making process to create an enjoyable, uplifting and stimulating experience for patients, families, visitors and staff.
Residencies and projects
Musicians visit a hospital, ward, or a specific group of patients for 6-12 weeks or longer. This enables them to get to know individual patients and their preferences, build rapport and make connections through performing, singing and creative music-making. Our programmes are designed in collaboration with staff and we tailor our projects for research, focusing on particular health, social and wellbeing outcomes.
Evaluation and Training
We take a systematic approach to evaluation, gathering outcome data from patients, services users, staff and visitors. We use an evaluation framework that looks at the impact of music on patient mood, and feelings of anxiety and loneliness.
By making regular observations of patient reactions, we continue to build a picture of what is most effective in different hospital settings, and we use this to develop and improve our programmes over time.
Our evaluation informs our musicians’ training programme. Live Music Now musicians are selected through a careful process of recruitment and trained to work effectively and sensitively in the contexts and settings that we operate in.
You can catch our musicians in hospitals across the UK…
Live Music Now has been working in partnership with Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust (Liverpool) since 2014, delivering a programme of participatory music sessions for long-term patients at the hospital, supported by Youth Music.
“Music making has the potential to aid relaxation, relieve boredom, distract from pain and ease anxiety in children and young people who can become isolated due to illness and hospitalisation”.
Dr Rosalind Hawley, Alder Hey Musical Mentoring Programme Evaluator
Our musicians have been working in University College London Hospitals for over 20 years. Our musicians also played at UCLH-run vaccination centres during the pandemic.
“There are a number of research studies that show that live music lower stress levels. The performances positively change the atmosphere. The patients, staff and volunteers all really loved this initiative.”
Guy Noble, Arts Curator at University College London Hospitals
Musicians from Live Music Now have been visiting the Royal United Hospitals Bath for one-off performances and workshops for several years, as part of the Hospital’s ‘Soundbite’ series.
A unique collaboration between Live Music Now musicians, clinicians and academics led to an ‘Innovation Study’ led by East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust and University of Kent’s School of Psychology.
Patients recovering from brain injuries were prescribed ‘doses’ of live music. Working with patients in hospital recovering from brain injury, it showed that high quality interactive live music performances can have great benefits for them.
The project won a runner up award for Outstanding Innovation in the prestigious EKHUFT Trust Innovation Awards.
Since April 2018, Live Music Now musicians have been spending two days each month at Bristol’s Southmead and Cossham hospitals, performing for a wide range of patients, from those undergoing regular dialysis treatment to people in intensive care
The project is part of the wider Fresh Arts programme of arts activities within the hospitals.